Tech product marketing space is the next big bang in Nigeria – Fagbohunlu

Mojisola Fagbohunlu is unarguably one of the pioneers of Product Marketing in Nigeria. The experienced Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) professional who is now a guru in product marketing in the fintech space gave an insight on her sojourn to the product marketing world and her responsibility of taking different products to market or having to figure out the right target audience and how to reach them coupled with seeming issues that further deepened her roots as an efficient Product Marketing specialist. Excerpt by SEYI JOHN SALAU:

Why did you decide to focus on tech considering your IMC background?

Tech is relevant today; it will be relevant tomorrow and the days after. Tech has come to stay, and it is going nowhere. For me, Tech is found in every area of life, I have always wanted a career in tech but in a non- technical/code role; in the past I have always wanted a role in tech that provides a right fit for my experience in Integrated Marketing and that is what Product Marketing is for me right now. I have seen Fintech products that are not popular just because they have not gotten enough from product marketing. A developer that has worked hard day and night should not also be saddled with the responsibility of taking the same product to market or having issues trying to figure out the right target audience and how to reach them, that is my role – you focus on building a solid product while I serve as the ramp to give it the necessary boost.

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With the number of tech products you have worked on in the digital space, what are the challenges and how have you been able to stay focused to achieve such feats?

There are challenges in the Fintech space that I have longed to be part of, my current role affords me such opportunities and I am committed to ensuring that these innovative products saturate the right target audience and market. A product is easier to take to market if it solves a relevant problem and fake alerts have been plaguing business owners for years, Bank3D answers this need perfectly. Furthermore, there is a financial inclusion mandate by CBN, and this has prompted a lot of agency banking initiatives not just by banks but by other licensed companies. I am privileged to be a part of this via Readycash, an agency banking platform that is quite famous in the North and spreads to other states in Nigeria. I facilitate product marketing and communications for Readycash and it has been interesting so far. Overall, product marketing is quite interesting.

What are the major factors constraining Nigerians in Product Marketing?

One of the major constraints is that people do not particularly have the understanding that the tech industry has the technical and the non-technical roles; the technical roles being core tech like software developers and non-technical roles being the business arm of it, product management and product marketing falls in this category. If you do a little research about product marketing in Nigeria even in the world at large, you will notice that “Product Marketing” is only just gaining momentum and recognition especially since the pandemic. The tech space is only just recognising the need for product marketing. I can comfortably be referred to as one of the pioneers of product marketing in Nigeria, a realisation that is honestly humbling.

What do you consider the future of the Product Marketing space in Nigeria?

The Nigerian product marketing space in 10 years would have grown tremendously, simply because a lot of people with relevant experience would come to the realisation that they can make that transition and not feel lost in tech. I also intend to contribute my quota by mentoring and coaching through the lens of the experience I have garnered over the years. Also, academically, certified courses in product marketing will be rampant and people that are interested in product marketing will have enough resources to help them be highflyers.

For those not familiar with the product marketing ecosystem; who is Mojisola Fagbohunlu?

As I am fondly called by key industry players; Mo’, is a very energetic, goal-driven, highly resourceful product marketing and Communications specialist. As a teenager, I watched every commercial break on television with keen interest to deduce if the advert fulfilled its course. I would visualize another way the advert could have been executed. This genuinely steered my interest and I have always had a flair for integrated Marketing Communications as it relates to the Tech space.

Give us an insight into your career journey and how it started…

As a graduate of BSc in Marketing from Covenant University in 2010, I served my country Nigeria via the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) for one year, as an Admin and Operations Intern at the Ministry of Finance, Makurdi Benue state. In 2011, I moved back to base which is Lagos and ventured into Sales and Marketing for three years. I remember how elated I was getting my first Integrated Marketing Communications job as an Account Executive, and some of my very first projects which I executed surprisingly well are the re-launch of Breezer a Bacardi brand and Airtel Nigeria when it partnered with Lagos state for the Countdown to 2014. I have worked in the Integrated Marketing Communications space for about 8 years, working on major brands like : Airtel Nigeria, BarcardiBreezer, ”33” export Lager, HayattKimya, Coca-cola, Lafarge, FBN, Skye Bank, Western Union, UBA, NIBSS, Lagoon Hospitals, Amstel Malta, UKAID (DEEPEN project); on projects valued in hundreds of millions before specifically settling into Product Marketing in the Tech Space.

Finally, what are the challenging moments of your career?

At the start of my career, I had to learn everything on the job, reading on the go. The marketing communications industry is an amazingly fast paced industry, and you must work twice as hard if you want to remain relevant. It was tough to even keep up with the industry speak, I would be in meetings, and I would write down unfamiliar words and Googling meanings to them (laughs), at most meetings I was an observer, watching how everyone conducted themselves and their thought processes. I made sure I moved quickly from being an observer to being a great asset to the team. Collaborating with diverse professionals from different walks of life could pose a daunting challenge when you must come up with a strong execution plan especially for well-known brands. I have had my fair share of difficulties, from tight deadlines to working long stretches of hours for days to cover ground and ensure that every goal set is achieved. Looking at it now, I would not even call them issues because the seemingly many issues further deepened my roots as an efficient product marketing specialist.

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